Little Gods Make Small Worlds
- Smashwords – Little Gods Make Small Worlds – a book by Christopher H Shelley?
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Moreover, I thought the structure which Roy gave to the story was absolutely brilliant in its conception and execution. She begins the story at its end and ends it at its beginning and, throughout, the action slips effortlessly back and forth between the present and the beginnings in The twins and their mother, Ammu, had returned to the family home in Ayemenem after the mother divorced her abusive drunkard husband. But because of the divorce, she is considered an outcast and she and her children are resented by the family, especially by her aunt, Baby Kochamma, a woman whose own desire for love has been thwarted.
In fact, everyone in this fraught household has been thwarted in love in one way or another. Ammu's brother, Chako Rhodes scholar, pickle baron, and radical Marxist , had married a woman in England but after their daughter was born, the first bloom of love faded and she left him for another man.
Then, he, too, returned to Ayemenem. Ammu's and Chako's mother, Mammachi, is a widow, now blind, who was regularly beaten by her husband with a brass pot when he was alive. In this atmosphere of frustrated desires, Ammu must try to raise her children and give them happy lives. The caste system is still very much a part of society in India in and it pollutes relations at every level. The twins have a friend, teacher, and protector in Velutha, a member of the Untouchable caste. He is someone who grew up with their mother.
The two children love him by day, but, in secret, their lonely mother loves him at night. It is, of course, a forbidden love and one that can only end in grief. The catalyst for the tragedy to come is the Christmas visit to the home by Chako's ex-wife, Margaret, and his beloved daughter, Sophie. It's impossible to further describe the plot without spoilers. Suffice to say that no one escapes unchanged.
Roy loads her narrative with foreshadowing so that one feels a constant sense of trepidation and anxiety. When the worst happens, it is hardly a surprise and yet the reader is still devastated.
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What strikes me as most tragic is not so much the suffering of these flawed characters, but the fact that such suffering is so commonplace. We are reading of the effects of the caste system in India in the s; it might just as easily be about racism, misogyny, xenophobia in America today. Human nature has not improved in the last fifty years. In that regard, sadly, Roy's story stands up very well to the passage of time. The world of Small Things.
As the story opens, they are returning to Ayamenem as adults split from each other by a past shaped in some way by the death of their cousin, Sophie Mol. Through their eyes, we learn with them the adult world, where western culture has descended via television onto the already chaotic colonial mix of Indian and British.
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The children learn the mix of English and Indian culture along with universal adult axioms control your Hopes, not doing so is a Bad Sign with an innocence that makes its incoherence hilarious and heartwarming. They fill us with joy and dread. Entirely oblivious of what trucks can do to frogs.
The mix childish misadventure and Big God tabu that comes crashing down in an afternoon on the river is horrifying and devastating. We have come to love these people and feel a part of their struggle to make sense of the world.
Where to find Christopher H Shelley online
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Little Gods Make Small Worlds
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Describe your issue Have a question not already answered in the links at left or on our main FAQ page? If you were a god, and created a world what would that world look like? If you were a god and your world could be any shape colour and size, would it be blue, red or orange and pink striped with polka-dot spots on? Would your world be a sphere, a saucer or a tetrahedron? Would your world drift through space, drop through a black hole or float on the back of huge sleeping tortoise. Would your world drift through space, drop through a black hole or float on the back of huge sleeping tortoise towed by a flock of a trillion white swans?
If you were a god and could have any animals you wanted on your world: If you were a god, what race would rule your world; Humans, Elves, Giants, tyrannosaurus or pigmy hippos? If you were a god, and things went really wrong down below, would you have a flood or let your world collide with an asteroid or have a nuclear holocaust and start all over again?